Pituitary Tumor Team


The UC Brain Tumor Center, home to one of the nation’s most experienced pituitary tumor teams, is headed by UC Health otolaryngologist Lee Zimmer, MD, PhD.

Our long tradition of excellence in skull base surgery was established in the 1990s by Myles Pensak, MD, the H.B. Broidy Professor and Chair of UC’s Department of Otolaryngology, and John M. Tew, MD, former Clinical Director of the UC Neuroscience Institute. Today our status as one of most forward-thinking skull base teams in North America continues with Drs. Zimmer, Norberto Andaluz, MD and Mario Zuccarello, MD.

Our pituitary team also includes specialists in endocrinology, ophthalmology, radiology and radiation oncology. These specialists gather each week at the Multidisciplinary Tumor Board Conference, where individual cases are presented. With each case presentation, the specialists discuss, debate and ultimately recommend a course of action that will optimize the care of each patient. In addition to generating a treatment strategy, Tumor Board gives reassurance to local patients as well as those who consult us from afar.

Because patients with pituitary tumors are treated by more than one specialist, the UC Brain Tumor Center offers “one-stop-shop” appointments with various specialists so that multiple trips are not necessary.

Dr. Zimmer, pictured at left, and his colleagues have explored new pathways, or approaches, to tumors through the skull base by following natural anatomical corridors and landmarks. They are solving problems endoscopically – with incisionless surgery through the nostrils – that previously were performed through an opening in the skull. Using these pathways causes minimal disruption of tissue and helps patients have faster recoveries, Dr. Zimmer explains.

Dr. Zimmer begins a procedure by entering the skull base via the nostrils with an endoscope, a long narrow tube with a light and camera at the end. He and his neurosurgical team then use additional tools to remove the pituitary tumor, often in less than an hour.

Patients who are not candidates for minimally invasive surgery may be treated with radiation therapy at the Precision Radiotherapy Center in West Chester, Ohio. Patients also may be treated with radiation if their pituitary tumor comes back or causes persistent symptoms.

Whether the treatment involves surgery or radiation, seamless follow-up care is provided by UC Health endocrinologists.

The UC Brain Tumor Center’s pituitary team congratulates former team member Philip Theodosopoulos, MD, who recently was named Vice Chairman of Clinical Affairs in the Department of Neurosurgery and Director of the Skull Base Surgery Program at the University of California San Francisco.  His position is an endowed full professorship.

Patient stories

Jim’s story >>
Ameer’s story >>

  • Print This Page
  • Make an Appointment: Schedule Now
  • Sign up for our newsletter!
  • UCNI Weekly Blog
  • Hope Stories

    • Lynne’s Story: Brain Metastasis

      Lynne's Story: Brain MetastasisSemiretired and working part-time at a restaurant, Lynne knew something was amiss when she looked at the cash register and then struggled to make her hands produce the correct amount of change. Could she have suffered a stroke? Lynne pushed the...
    • Sandra’s Story: Glioma

      Sandra's Story: Glioma Sandra (Sandy) is a smiling, breathing reminder that hope exists for patients with even the most challenging type of brain tumors. Nine years ago, when Sandy was first told that she had six months to live, she stared back blankly...
    • Brian’s Story: Meningioma

      Brian's Story: Meningioma “Carefree” is the word Brian uses to describe his life back then. He was 39 years old, happily married and the father of three children under the age of 5. “Life was busy, but that felt normal,” he says, reflecting. “The only...
    • Dick’s Story: Memory

      Dick's Story: MemoryDick was enjoying his retirement as a full-time volunteer at Crayons to Computers when his memory began to go awry. He told his granddaughter that his car was due for an oil change, when he had just had the oil...
    • Bob’s Story: Glioblastoma

      Bob's Story: Glioblastoma Bob’s story blends coincidence with collaboration and hope. The coincidence involves the 62-year-old West Chester man’s best buddy, “Jake,” a 165-pound...
    • Blake’s Story: Medulloblastoma

      Blake's Story: Medulloblastoma Blake knew he was in the right hands the moment he saw the surgeon’s wrists. Dr. John M. Tew, Blake’s neurosurgeon, was wearing one of Lance Armstrong’s yellow LiveStrong cancer bracelets. So was Blake. Dr. Tew, who was also sporting...
    • Jerry’s Story: Spinal Tumor

      Jerry's Story: Spinal Tumor On an ordinary day in February 2009, John M. Tew, MD, got one of the true surprises of his career. He was seeing patients in his Mayfield Clinic office on the University of Cincinnati medical campus when an unexpected guest...
    • Lynne’s Story

      Lynne's StorySemiretired and working part-time at a restaurant, Lynne knew something was amiss when she looked at the cash register and then struggled to make her hands produce the correct amount of change. Could she have suffered a stroke? Lynne pushed the...
    • Jim’s Story: Pituitary Tumor

      Jim's Story: Pituitary Tumor One turn of events led to another, and so it was that Jim, and not his wife, took Jim’s 87-year-old father to his appointment with the dermatologist for the first time. And so it was that the dermatologist was not...